On Nov. 15-17, the Moorhead chapter of Minnesota State University Student Association participated in the fall delegate’s conference in St. Paul, Minn. While there, they worked on several new platform issues brought up by MSUM and other MnSCU colleges.
Those who attended the conference were: Austen McFarren, Sarah Danielson, Kevin Struxness, Clay Schwartzwalter, Maddison Leitner, Jaclyn Ellwein, Yannis Tomko and Derek Davis. Together the students did their best to represent the student body of MSUM.
Sarah Danielson, MSUSA Campus Coordinator and political science major, said that there were several key points, controversial or not, discussed at the conference. Some of the issues that pertained to MSUM were: veteran registration priority, preferred name for registration, SELF loan and raising the fee ceiling for student fees.
“A preferred name title would be like a username for students who are primarily transgender; essentially so that when they would apply here, they could put a preferred name after their actual name,” said Danielson. “We thought that it was a good idea. However, it didn’t go over well with the other delegates. Another thing that we worked on was getting the veterans priority registration. Metro has it, and it works well for them since they have issues with GI bills and getting that in. I think it would be a great thing to try out here, and see if it’s feasible.”
Another issue that Danielson and others in the group saw as a threat to MSUM students, was proposed by St. Cloud State University, to raise the overall MnSCU fee ceiling, which is already capped in several areas.
“We didn’t want to put more debt on the back of Moorhead students,” Danielson said. “Right now we have areas that are capped, so that can’t go any higher, and they wanted to raise it so it would, but we said no.”
Because MSUM students pay43 cents per credit at MnSCU colleges, MSUSA recommend that students start getting involved. With lack of state funding all over campus, Danielson, along with others, said that now is the time for students to voice their opinions.
Danielson said that the best way for students to get involved, is to come to the meetings, join the Lobby Corp and participate in the lobbying efforts at the Capitol later in the spring semester.
To join Lobby Corp at the Capitol in St. Paul, students must sign up by Dec. 15 and attend a training session in January. This opportunity is a way to get issues noticed.
“We give stories about our school, and why we think we need funding. The more students we have, the more we will get noticed.”
This Wednesday, MSUSA will have a study day event, where they will be providing soup, bars, coffee and hot chocolate as a way to get students to take notice of MSUSA and its efforts. There will also be an issues board and a place to write a letter to a representative or senator about any issues students may have, whether for more funding or a thank you for the funding that has been provided.
“If they see we care, they will care,” Danielson said.
BY BECKI DEGEEST